Karl Haas at WJR
December 6, 1913|
Speyer, Palatinate, Germany
|Died||February 6, 2005(aged 91)|
Karl Haas (December 6, 1913 – February 6, 2005) was a German-American classical music radio host, known for his sonorous speaking voice, humanistic approach to music appreciation, and popularization of classical music. He was the host of the classical music radio program Adventures in Good Music, which was syndicated to commercial and public radio stations around the world. He also published a book, Inside Music. In addition to being a respected musicologist Haas was also an accomplished pianist and conductor.
Early life and family
Haas was born in Speyer, Palatinate in 1913. He studied at the Mannheim Conservatory and earned a doctorate in music literature from Heidelberg University. He studied piano with Artur Schnabel. Haas, who was Jewish, left Germany in 1936 with the rise of Nazism. He first settled in Detroit, Michigan but lived in other places before returning to Detroit near the end of his life.
Haas and his wife Trudie, who died in 1977, had two sons and one daughter.
Adventures in Good Music
Haas began his radio program Adventures in Good Music on WJR in Detroit, Michigan in 1959. Syndicated broadcasts of the show across the United States began in 1970 on WCLV, a Cleveland, Ohio radio station. The show was eventually syndicated to commercial and public radio stations around the world and became the world's most widely listened-to classical music radio program.
The theme music for Adventures in Good Music was the 2nd movement from Beethoven's "Pathétique" Sonata (Sonata No. 8 in C minor), performed by Haas himself. Haas started every show with his trademark greeting "Hello everyone", and later titled a track of his CD with those words. For several years the program had the most listeners of any classical music radio show in the world.
Haas received the Charles Frankel Award of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1991. President George H. W. Bush personally presented the award to Haas at the White House. Haas also twice won the George Foster Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting. In 1997 he became the first classical music broadcaster to be named to the National Radio Hall of Fame.
Haas did not produce any new episodes of the show in the last two years of his life. WCLV continued to syndicate recordings of his previous shows until June 2007. That month, WCLV announced "with great regret" that it would broadcast and syndicate its last Adventures in Good Music program on June 29, 2007. The announcement explained that the number of stations that carried the show had dropped from well over 400 to fewer than 20, which made it unfeasible to continue the program's national distribution.
Although most episodes of Adventures in Good Music are not available publicly because of copyright restrictions, three CDs featuring Haas and his commentary have been issued: The Romantic Piano, The Story of the Bells, and Song and Dance.
- "Karl Haas, 91; Radio Host Popularized Classical Music With Knowledge and Humor". The Los Angeles Times. 2005-02-08. p. B-9. Retrieved 2008-11-17.
- Midgette, Anne (2005-02-08). "Karl Haas, Radio Ambassador of Classical Music, Dies at 91". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-17.
- "Inside music/Karl Haas". National Library of Australia. Retrieved 2008-11-17.
- Holley, Joe (2005-02-08). "Classical Radio Personality Karl Haas, 91, Dies". The Washington Post. p. B06. Retrieved 2008-11-17.
- Symons, Craig (2005-02-07). "Rest In Peace Karl Haas". American Choral Directors Association. Retrieved 2011-03-25.
- WCLV – Adventures in Good Music with Karl Haas
- "TIMELINE: How NEH has fostered the humanities". National Endowment for the Humanities. Retrieved 2008-11-17.
- "Karl Haas' Adventures in Good Music Broadcasts Come to an End". 104.9 WCLV classical FM. Retrieved 2008-11-17.
- Haas, K. (1999). Inside Music. South Melbourne, Macmillan. ISBN 0-7329-1004-8
- Video in which Karl Haas briefly explains why he devoted his entire life to music
- Obituary in the Washington Post February 8, 2005; Page B06
- Haas inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame
- Memorial piece about Karl Haas and his radio style
- Interview by Bruce Duffie, October 28, 1989